The Greatest Showman and Logan star Hugh Jackman is in discussions to star as Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari and Mann has recently reworked the script, which was originally penned by the late Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job).
STX is now handling international sales and will directly distribute the film in the UK and Ireland. We understand Amazon is tying up a deal to bolster international with STX and has been integral in the process. CAA Media Finance arranged the financing and is repping domestic.
The big-canvas racing drama instantly becomes one of the hottest projects at the Cannes virtual market. Four-time Oscar-nominee Mann will give a virtual presentation for buyers on Tuesday and the new script is hitting key distributors today.
The film will chart the summer of 1957 when all the forces in Ferrari’s life – which were often as combustible and volatile as the iconic race cars he built – collided. The now legendary car company he and his wife Laura built was at the time going broke. Their tempestuous marriage had already suffered the death of their son, Dino, and Ferrari’s other son, 12-year old Piero, the product of a wartime romance, was struggling to find his place in the world.
The entrepreneur rolled the dice for all their futures on one race – 1,000 miles across Italy, the brutal and infamous 1957 Mille Miglia. The film will be framed so that during the highly dangerous race, Laura discovers long kept secrets, we see opportunities rise and fade, and drivers, who are like surrogate sons, are pushed beyond the edge.
Heat director Mann, who first started discussing the idea of the film with the late Sydney Pollack, told me: “The real power of this piece is in the emotionally charged lives of these people in complex, extreme circumstances. In addition, there is the explosive power and lethal beauty of racing. It has a great drama at its core and that’s why Ferrari stayed with me.”
The movie, which has been a passion of Mann’s for almost two decades, has an almost Godfather-type feel to it and is rich in local flavour but also universal truths. Mann, who is familiar with the Ferrari family, will build a fleet of replica race cars from the era. We hear that Jackman and Mann have already read through some of the film’s most potent scenes.
Mann, who was recently an exec producer on Ford vs Ferrari, will produce via his Forward Pass production banner along with a producing team of Birdman producer John Lesher, Lars Sylvest, Thorsten Schumacher, Gareth West, and Niels Juul.
The script is based on Brock Yates’ book Enzo Ferrari – The Man And The Machine.